Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Art Show in Madison-Sidewalk Gallery


One Act Comedy Festival at The Company in Hackensack


Alliance Rep Encore Benefit at Mondo


WHEN: 2 Encore BENEFIT performances! December 14 & 15 @ 8:00 pm
MONDO is located at 426 Springfield Avenue in Summit
PLEASE support Alliance Repertory Theatre with this important FUNDRAISER.

For reservations, call 908-472-1502 or visit www.alliancerep.org.

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At Rachel’s New Year's Eve party, most of the guests are in the kitchen admiring photos of their babies. In the other room, two lonely strangers find themselves cut off from the rest. Jane (Lilli Marques) was invited because she knows the people in the kitchen. Tim (Brendan Scullin) was invited because he painted the kitchen. The pair spend a drunken night together and a few weeks later she calls him with some unexpected news. Witness their unlikely relationship develop in Alliance Repertory Theatre’s production of The Good Father.

Director Michael Driscoll calls The Good Father “a voyage of discovery that will take the audience through many emotions that are both identifiable and unmistakably human.  These two talented actors bring the complex characters to life beautifully.”

NJ Rep to present world premiere of E.M. Lewis’ Apple Season


LONG BRANCH, NJ – New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, is proud to present the world premiere of E.M. Lewis’ Apple Season from January 10 - February 10, 2019.

Twenty years ago, Lissie and Roger fled from their family farm and made themselves disappear. But the family secrets haunt them still.  A funeral and a question from an old friend send the two siblings tumbling down a rabbit hole of memory and grief, as they try to let go of a tangled past that refuses to release them.
Under the direction of Zoya Kachadurian, Apple Season stars Kersti Bryan (Lissie), Richard Kent Green (Roger), and Christopher M. Smith (Billy).

Apple Season  runs January 10 thru February 10, 2018. Previews are Thursday and Friday, January 10 and 11 at 8:00 PM, and Saturday, January 12 at 3:00 PM.
A special talk-back with the playwright and director will be held after the first preview, Thursday, January 10.
Opening night with reception is Saturday, January 12 at 8:00 PM.
Regular performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 PM; Saturdays at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM; Sundays at 2:00 PM.
Tickets are $50 (opening night with reception, $60; premium seating + $5). All tickets may be subject to a service charge. Annual subscriptions are $225 per person. For tickets or additional information call 732-229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org.

E.M. Lewis Playwright: is an award - winning playwright, teacher, and opera librettist.  Her work has been produced around the world, and is published by Samuel French. 
Plays include: Magellanica, The Gun Show, Song of Extinction, True Story, and You Can See All the Stars
Awards include: Steinberg Award and Primus Prize from the American Theater Critics Association, Ted Schmitt Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, playwriting fellowship from NJ State Arts Commission, 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama, Edgerton Award.
Member: Dramatists Guild. Lewis lives on her family’s farm in Oregon.

Kersti Bryan, Richard Kent Green, and Christopher M. Smith 

Mike Davis' New Wonders - Baltimore - Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

January Thaw Music Festival at Centenary Stage Company


Centenary Stage Company’s annual January Thaw Music Festival heats things up through the month of January with three exciting musical guests in the Lackland Performing Arts Center. The festival features Michael Davis and the New Wonder on Saturday, January 12 at 8PM; the Harry James Orchestra on Sunday, January 20 at 2PM; and finally Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper on Saturday, January 26 at 8PM. All performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.

Kicking off the January Thaw Music Festival on Saturday, January 12 at 8PM is Michael Davis and the New Wonders (photo). At twenty-six years old, "eloquent trumpet prodigy" Mike Davis (Wall Street Journal) has a voice beyond his years on his instrument. His playing is imbued with the sounds of prohibition-era speakeasies, Hoovervilles of the depression, and glittering jazz palaces of the swing era, creating a timeless cocktail of American music. This is classic jazz from the 1920s and 30s, authentically performed by a New York group inspired by Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, and the California Ramblers. Tickets for Michael Davis and the New Wonders on Saturday, January 12 at 8PM are $22.50 for all seats in advance. As with all concerts, jazz and special programs ticket prices increase $5.00 on the day of the event.

Click to view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ub_lIkU28s#action=share

The January Thaw Music Festival continues on Sunday, January 20 at 2PM with the Harry James Orchestra. Since 1983, The Harry James Orchestra has continued the tradition of mellow arrangements and fine rhythmic playing that first made it famous, and is now under the direction of Harry James' lead trumpet virtuoso, Fred Radke. The Harry James Orchestra plays in the major venues of the United States, including many re-engagements in Las Vegas and Disneyland and tours extensively throughout the world. Tickets for the Harry James Orchestra are $30.00 for adults and $20.00 for children under 12 in advance. As with all concerts, jazz and special programs ticket prices increase $5.00 on the day of the event.

Finally, the January Thaw Music Festival wraps up with Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper on Saturday, January 26 at 8PM. Considered one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation, Mike picked up a fiddle at age four, and his talent was recognized early. In 1993 he was chosen to be part of the Bluegrass Youth All Stars at the IBMA's award show. Later that year Mike made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a guest of Alison Krauss. His list of guest appearances over the years is a who's who of bluegrass legends including Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse, Ralph Stanely, Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson, Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson, and J.D. Crowe. At the 2001 IBMA awards, Mike took his first Fiddle Player of the Year award, and shared the title of Entertainer of the Year with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. Together with his band Flamekeeper, Cleveland delivers “some of the most powerful, exciting and authentic bluegrass you can find”. Tickets for Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper are $27.50 for adults and $17.50 for children under 12 in advance. As with all concerts, jazz and special programs ticket prices increase $5.00 on the day of the event .For more information or to purchase tickets visit centenarystageco.org or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ on the campus of Centenary University. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5PM and two hours prior to every event. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

The 2018-2019 season of Centenary Stage Company’s performing arts events is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community and The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors HMC Atlantic Health, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A CHRISTMAS CAROL "Shines Once More" at Chatham Playhouse

The Chatham Community Players

"Shines Once More"
30th Anniversary Production
Tickets are selling fast!

A Christmas Carol

Watch the 1 minute trailer for A Christmas Carol !


Read the Stellar Reviews!

Ruth Ross writes "Christmas Carol Shines Once More" and is "one of the pleasures of the holiday season."
Broadway World says "The Chatham Community Players does it again! Their production of A Christmas Carol is one that is not to be missed this holiday season."

A Christmas Carol

Come celebrate 30 years! The Chatham Community Players keeps their longstanding holiday tradition alive with the 30th anniversary production of A Christmas Carol opening Friday, December 7 and running until Sunday, December 23. Our production is an original musical version of the Tale, adapted from the Dickens text and Charles Dickens letters and journals, by Philip Wm. McKinley and Suzanne Buhrer. Returning to the Chatham Playhouse, Jeffrey Fiorello of Montclair directs the show, Jack Bender of Jersey City is the musical director and Samantha Hahn of Plainfield is the Choreographer.

In this version, produced exclusively at the Chatham Playhouse since 1988, Dickens serves not only as narrator, but also as a character that befriends Scrooge and walks beside him during his life-changing journey through memories and premonitions. While the script remains true to the original story, the playwright also pulled from letters that Dickens wrote to family and friends. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge has become one of the most beloved of all holiday tales, and this unique production also reminds us that Dickens’ inspiration for penning the story goes much deeper.
Visit ChathamPlayers.org for more information.


Fri Dec 7 @ 8:00 pm

Sat Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm

Sat Dec 8 @ 8:00 pm

Sun Dec 9 @ 3:00 pm

Fri Dec 14 @ 8:00 pm

Sat Dec 15 @ 3:00 pm

Sat Dec 15 @ 8:00 pm
Sun Dec 16 @ 3:00 pm

Thu Dec 20 @ 8:00 pm

Fri Dec 21 @ 8:00 pm

Sat Dec 22 @ 3:00 pm

Sat Dec 22 @ 8:00 pm

Sun Dec 23 @ 3:00 pm


Purchase a package and then choose your show dates and your seats.
NO credit card fees and NO exchange fees apply on all packages.
For more information, please visit our TICKETS PAGE.


Carol Channeling, Caroling starring Maggie Graham at WTC


The Women’s Theater Company, a professional theater company in Parsippany, NJ, presents Carol Channeling, Caroling starring Maggie Graham with Music Direction by Seth Weinstein

Carol Channeling, Caroling: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here is a holiday show of a different sort! Carol Channeling returns to the Parsippany Playhouse with her band of merry impersonations for 2 performances only. Ring in the spirit of the season with your favorite celebrities…dead or alive! www.carolchanneling.com

Carol Channeling, Caroling December 15 and 16 Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. To purchase tickets online please visit www.womenstheater.org or call

973 335 3038.

The Women’s Theater Company is located at the Parsippany Playhouse at 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha, NJ. For GPS driving directions, please enter the town of Boonton, 07005.


The Women’s Theater Company’s mission is to provide a fertile environment for the advancement of professional women theater artists and to provide quality theater for the community at large. Through their main stage, educational outreach, and new works development programs, the Women’s Theater Company supports the development of new women artists, promotes new works in the American theater, and provides entertaining and enriching productions for growing audiences. Women’s Theater Company is located at The Parsippany Playhouse, 1130 Knoll Road, Parsippany, NJ. For more information contact 973 335 3038, or email info@womenstheater.org.

The Women’s Theater Company is proud to be a member of the New Jersey Theater Alliance Funding for the Women’s Theater Company has been made possible in part by funds for the Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Art/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra first annual Chinese New Year Celebration at NJPAC


The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents its first annual Chinese New Year Celebration on February 2 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The event includes an NJSO performance led by Music Director Xian Zhang, as well as pre-concert cultural festivities and a post-concert gala dinner.

Zhang says: “This season, the NJSO focuses on community, and our first Chinese New Year concert is a big part of that effort. Chinese New Year is an opportunity to deepen our connections not only with the Chinese community but also with the general public throughout the state, coming together to celebrate a very old tradition. It’s a great chance to showcase the talent we have in New Jersey, and I feel very pleased and satisfied that we can bring this opportunity to many families and audiences of all ages.”


The 7:30 pm concert program blends Eastern and Western musical traditions, with NJSO premieres of Li Huanzhi’s Spring Festival Overture and Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection. Concertmaster Eric Wyrick, Principal Cello Jonathan Spitz and pianist Min Kwon take center stage for Tan Dun’s concerto. The Orchestra welcomes the Peking University Alumni Chorus, New York Festival Singers and Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus for works including Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, the “Anvil Chorus” from Verdi’s Il Trovatore, “Jasmine Chorus” from Puccini’s Turandot and traditional Chinese songs. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company gives a special performance choreographed to the “Humming Chorus” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and the Edison Chinese School Lion Dance Team performs a traditional dragon dance. Actress Elena Kampouris hosts.

Special pre-concert festivities designed for the whole family include traditional Chinese music performers, calligraphy demonstrations, crafts and more, beginning at 6 pm in the Prudential Hall lobby.

Xian ZhangZhang says: “Audience members will see a pre-show in the lobby that will be just as amazing as the main concert. When you walk into the lobby, you will immediately experience the culture firsthand, with Chinese calligraphy, dancing and performances. When I first started to organize the program for Chinese New Year, I purposefully wanted to bring Eastern and Western music together. The event mixes dragon dances, traditional Chinese folk songs, modern music and very well-known Western opera excerpts. Musically, it will be very attractive for the audience, and visually, this concert will be very colorful and vibrant.”

Concert tickets start at $20 and include both the NJSO performance and pre-concert festivities. Gala event tickets include a post-concert dinner with Zhang and special guests.

Learn more at njsymphony.org/cny.

This concert and celebration are generously supported in part by an anonymous donor in honor of Music Director Xian Zhang.


Chinese New Year Celebration

Sat, Feb 2, at 7:30 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Xian Zhang, conductor

Eric Wyrick, violin

Jonathan Spitz, cello

Min Kwon, piano

Peking University Alumni Chorus

The New York Festival Singers

Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus | Rebecca Shen, director

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company | Nai-Ni Chen, choreographer

Edison Chinese School Lion Dance Team

Elena Kampouris, host

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra


LI HUANZHI Spring Festival Overture (NJSO Premiere)

TAN DUN The Triple Resurrection (NJSO Premiere)

VERDI “Anvil Chorus” from Il Trovatore

TRADITIONAL CHINESE SONG (Arr. Nicholas Hersh) “Farewell”

BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasy

PUCCINI “Humming Chorus” from Madama Butterfly

PUCCINI “Jasmine Chorus” from Turandot

TRADITIONAL CHINESE SONG (Arr. Nicholas Hersh) “Let’s Paddle Together”


Concert tickets start at $20 and include both the NJSO performance and pre-concert festivities. Learn more at njsymphony.org/cny.


Jade VIP Dinner Ticket—$1,000
Admission for one to the pre-concert festival, champagne reception, concert and dinner seating. ($715 is tax-deductible)

Ruby Dinner Ticket—$500
Admission for one to the pre-concert festival, concert and dinner. ($265 is tax-deductible)

Sponsorship and dinner table packages ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 are also available. For more information, please contact Laura Bessey, NJSO Manager of Special Events, at Lbessey@njsymphony.org or 973.735.1729.

Full gala information is available at njsymphony.org/chinesenewyear.


Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence” The New York Times has praised for her “technical abilities, musicianship and maturity”—continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People; NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles, led by José Luis Domínguez; and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide through the NJSO Community Partners program.

For more information about the NJSO, visit njsymphony.org or email information@njsymphony.org. Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra’s website.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.

Auditions: Children’s show at Strollers of Maplewood


AUDITIONS multi-ethnic casting call for

adults, teens, and children (over 7)

The Day the Rainbow Broke Up

An original children’s show by Casey Bell

Audition dates:

Sun, Dec 16, 2-4pm Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts

Tue, Dec 18, 7-9pm 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Performance dates:

Feb 1 & 8, at 7pm

Feb 2 & 3 and 9 & 10, at 1pm and 3pm (double matinees on Saturday & Sunday)

Rehearsals will begin immediately, as holiday conflicts allow, and will be three times per week until Jan 20 (not all cast will be called for every rehearsal). From Jan 21, all cast members need to be available weekday evenings and weekend afternoons for full cast rehearsals.

About the show:

The seven colors of the rainbow have a big fight and break up. As each color goes off to be the rainbow on its own, they encounter creatures from nature who try to show them the error of their ways. But will the colors learn the lesson? Can the rainbow be saved?

With a little music, a little dance, plenty of comedy, and a whole lot of heart, this show is a fantasy of color and costumes that is a hit with the whole family.

Characters (double casting is possible):

The colors

(kids & teens; gender neutral)

Red  (a happy loner)

Orange  (a dramatic worrywart)

Yellow  (a natural leader)

Green  (a peacemaker)

Blue  (a chill dude)

Indigo  (snooty but lovable)

Violet  (high-key emotional)

The creatures

(adults & teens; gender neutral)

Indigo bunting bird(s)

Tree (and shrubs)


Lion (and other safari animals)

Fish (and Tiny Bubbles)

Rose & Bud

Bee (and swarm)

The personalities and creativity of the cast members will contribute to characterizations. This is a collaborative project where kids can learn stagecraft as well as explore ideas and, keeping with the theme of the play, celebrate cooperation and diversity.

For more information and sides: www.TheStrollers.org/auditions

Questions? write to TheMaplewoodStrollers@gmail.com

The Strollers  PO Box 83   Maplewood, NJ 07040

Friday, December 7, 2018

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Chatham Playhouse

Cast and Crew set for ‘My Very Own British Invasion’ at Paper Mill


Paper Mill Playhouse has announced casting and the creative team for the world premiere of My Very Own British Invasion with book by Tony award winner Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher).  My Very Own British Invasion is produced in association with Hal Luftig, Craig Haffner and Rodney RigbyMy Very Own British Invasion will begin performances Thursday, January 31, 2019, and will continue through Sunday, March 3, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). My Very Own British Invasion is generously supported by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2018-2019 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Paper Mill’s Half Time), and with music direction by Lon Hoyt (On Your Feet!), the principal cast will feature newcomer Jonny Amies as Peter, Bryan Fenkart (Waitress) as John, Erika Olson (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Pamela, Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots) as Gino, Conor Ryan (Desperate Measures) as Trip, John Sanders (Groundhog Day) as Fallon, and Daniel Stewart Sherman (Kinky Boots) as The Hammer.  They will be joined by Travis Artz, Gemma Baird, John Campione, Emma Degerstedt, Trista Dollison, Jay Donnell, Graham Scott Fleming, Douglas Goodhart, Cory Jeacoma, Sage Melcher, Jen Perry, and Daniel Yearwood.

This world-premiere musical tells a fable of young love, set against the backdrop of the exploding 1960s music scene – when England launched the little dustup that became known as the British Invasion.  Based on the experiences of Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, who was just a teenager willing to sacrifice international stardom for the sake of girl he loves, the show features more than two dozen chart-topping hits from all the best British bands of the era. 

The production team includes scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Andrew Keister, projection design by Andrew Lazarow, and hair and wig design by Josh Marquette. The production stage manager is Tripp Phillips. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Patrick Goodwin, CSA. Jonny Amies is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. Paper Mill Playhouse gratefully acknowledges Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

“I was 16 when I walked into the Bag O’ Nails in London for the first time,” remarked Peter Noone, singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist and actor, best known as Herman of the successful 1960s pop group Herman's Hermits. “I had the number one record in England (“I’m Into Something Good”) and John Lennon got me a drink as I sat and watched the hoi polloi of what is now known as the British Invasion—Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Twiggy, Richard Harris, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger, Mary Quant, and many more.  Somehow the music had connected us all! Each person had a song that went with their character and I knew this musical story was meant to be put on a stage.”

My Very Own British Invasion will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. All major credit cards accepted. Groups of 10 or more may receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Season subscriptions are on sale now and are available by calling 973.379.3717.  Students may order $23-$28 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance. My Very Own British Invasion is generously supported by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JONNY AMIES (Peter) recently graduated from the Italia Conti Academy in London with a BA Honours in Acting. While completing his studies, Jonny landed his first television role in the new Netflix/Eleven Film series Sex Education. Previous theater credits include The Good Person of Sichuan at The Space (Edinburgh Fringe), and his roles at Italia Conti included Posner in The History Boys; Mike in Saved; Hench in Yen; Todd in Stockholm; Somerset in Henry VI, Part 1; Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors; and Krogstad in A Doll’s House. Jonny is delighted to be making his professional theatrical debut at Paper Mill Playhouse.

BRYAN FENKART (John). Broadway/First National Tour: Memphis, Waitress. Regional: Darling Grenadine, A Sign of the Times (Goodspeed); These Paper Bullets! (Yale Rep, Atlantic); Diner, Piece of My Heart (Signature); Nobody Loves You (Second Stage). TV/Film: “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” Red Hook, You Tell Me. Albums: Imperfect Man, Simple & Grey, “We Are” (single). BFA from MGSA/Rutgers.

ERIKA OLSON (Pamela) is thrilled to be making her Paper Mill debut. First National Tour: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Cynthia Weil). Television: “Pose,” “Murphy Brown.” Other credits include Eurydice (Eurydice), The Full Monty (Georgie), and Uncle Vanya (Yelena). Her original music is available on SoundCloud/erika_olson. Training: Carnegie Mellon University, National Institute of Dramatic Arts (Sydney, Australia).

KYLE TAYLOR PARKER (Gino). Paper Mill debut! Recently seen in the Off-Broadway revival of Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Broadway: Kinky Boots (original cast), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original cast). Television: NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” National Tours: Kinky Boots (IRNE Award for Best Visiting Actor), In the Heights. Regional: Dreamgirls, Hair, Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Off-Broadway: Finian’s Rainbow. Solo Concert: The Soul Session. For info on Kyle’s debut album, To Broadway, with Soul.

CONOR RYAN (Trip) was last seen as Johnny Blood in Desperate Measures at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle nomination for outstanding actor in a musical). Television: “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”on NBC. Broadway: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Off-Broadway: Desperate Measures at York Theatre Company, Keen Company’s revival of John & Jen (with Kate Baldwin), Second Stage’s Invisible Thread, and the Public Theater’s The Fortress of Solitude. Developmental: Charles Bingley in Austen’s Pride (5th Avenue Theatre), Chris McCandless in Into the Wild (The Encore Musical Theatre Company).

JOHN SANDERS (Fallon) most recently appeared in Illyria by Richard Nelson at The Public, and as Ned Ryerson in Broadway’s Groundhog Day. Other Broadway: Matilda (Mr. Wormwood), Peter and the Starcatcher. National Tours: Peter and the Starcatcher (Black Stache), Mamma Mia! (Sam). Off-Broadway: Cloud Nine (Atlantic). Eleven years in Chicago theatre included work at the Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf, Writers’ Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left. Television: “The Blacklist,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Billions,” “Iron Fist,” “Elementary,” “The Following.” Film: No God No Master, Alleged. Video games: Minecraft, Batman.

DANIEL STEWART SHERMAN (The Hammer) Broadway: Kinky Boots, Desire Under the Elms, Cyrano De Bergerac, A Touch of the Poet, Henry IV, The Full Monty. Film: Mr. Popper's Penguins, Boy Wonder, The Taking of Pelham 123, Gigantic, Redacted, Capers, Pretty Bird, Wendigo. TV: "Gun Hill," "The Good Wife," "Mercy," "Justified," "Rubicon," "Life on Mars," "Law & Order." B.F.A. from N.C.S.A.

RICK ELICE (Book).  On Broadway: Jersey Boys (Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Awards for Best Musical), The Addams Family, Peter and the Starcatcher (winner, five Tony Awards), and this season’s The Cher Show. His book, Finding Roger: An Improbably Theatrical Love Story, is published by Kingswell. Rick is happy to be making his Paper Mill debut.

JERRY MITCHELL (Director & Choreographer) received Broadway’s Tony Award for Best Choreography twice—initially for the revival of La Cage aux Folles and more recently for Kinky Boots, for which he was also nominated as director. In addition to Kinky Boots, Jerry is currently represented on Broadway as the director-choreographer of Pretty Woman. Other recent productions include the pre-Broadway productions of Half Time in Chicago and thereafter at Paper Mill Playhouse and, prior to that, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which he also directed and co-produced in the West End and for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for his choreography. In the 35 preceding years, Jerry has been involved with over 50 Broadway, West End, and touring productions, including as choreographer of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Full Monty (Tony nomination); The Rocky Horror Show; Hairspray (Tony nomination, also NBC’s live telecast); Gypsy, Never Gonna Dance (Tony nomination); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination); La Cage aux Folles; Legally Blonde (Tony nomination), which he also directed; Catch Me If You Can; and Kinky Boots; and as director of On Your Feet!: The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Review: Perfect Family Holiday Treat at Growing Stage

Calling all parents….. the Growing Stage, billed quite appropriately as The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, is presenting until December 16 the charming original musical production of Babes In Toyland. This truly jolly, fun-filled event has been beautifully designed to entertain the entire family, particularly the younger members. Everything about this production that features four excellent equity performers, plus a cast of adult and junior community players is a delight. This is marvelous way of introducing youngsters to the magic of live theatre….specially since the show features a large number of junior performers.
Steve Fredu (1)If the title is familiar it’s because this stage production is based on the 1934 Laurel and Hardy film* that was originally inspired by the Victor Herbert operetta of the same name. It was conceived by company founder and Executive Director, Stephen L. Fredericks (photo right) and the multi-talented Perry Arthur KroegerKroeger wrote the adaptation and lyrics ( with Glen MacDonough) that have been set to the music of Victor Herbert. Kroeger, as the TGS Artist in Residence, is responsible for the wonderful murals of classic children's tales on the side walls of the theatre and above the stage on the proscenium. These murals provide a charming fantasy-land like atmosphere that contribute to the excitement, particularly for the the junior members of the audience…..worth the price of admission just to see the interior of this theatre built in 1919, and Kroeger's artwork.
growing-stage-muralsThe plot: Tweedle Dee and  Tweedle Dum try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage on Mother Goose's shoe and keep it and Little Bo Peep from the clutches of the evil Barnaby. When that fails, they trick Barnaby into marrying Dum instead of Bo Peep. Enraged, Barnaby unleashes the boogeymen from their caverns to destroy Toyland. Who will save the day?
Danny Campos and Donald Danforth  are excellent as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (top photo). Danny Campos repeats his great Oliver Hardy impression. Donald Danforth as Dum beautifully projects the sweetness and innocence of Laurel.  Gloria Lamoureux, one of our most talented local performers  perfectly portrays Mother Goose. David Spellman has the meatiest role as the evil Silas Barnaby. He plays Barnaby in the classic over-acting tradition of the famous melodrama  "East Lynne."  Below right)
52-C91A1102-e1543438645518Sarah Daniels {above left} is a very attractive Bo Peep who keeps losing her sheep. Her true love Tom-Tom is played nicely by Niall Ng.  Brandon Wiener has great fun with his two roles; the Toymaker and Sasquatch the boogeyland leader. The  spreader of fairy dust is the also beautifully voiced Brianna Vitale as the Blue Fairie. Playing a spot-on Santa Claus is Bob Scarpone. Lizzie Raine is Hangnail, Haley Lang is Claw Mark, Zacharry Finizio is Tickleutioner, and the fine voiced Hyron Gonzalez is Jack Horner.
A special treat are the youngsters who display an amazing amount of talent :
Nursery Children:
Kiera Sullivan (Miss Muffet), Brendan Blazier (Little Boy Blue), Tobias Dickens (Jack), Eliza Foose (Jill), Emily Iadarola (Mary Contrary), Julia Ireland (Tom Tucker), and  Ava Tabaranza (Little Red Riding Hood)
Bo-Peep’s Sheep/Little Pigs:
Cora Almendinger, Nicolas Drew, Emma Ramos
Ensemble – Toy Soldiers, Blue Farie Chorus & Citizens of Toyland:
Caitlin Menber, Madison Gennaro, Daniela Palmucci, Ally Takayama, Rochelle John, Casey Gilbert, Marisa Pamucci,and Haley Lang
Director Lori B. Lawrence’s production team includes; Music director Stephen Fox, Choreographer Jillian Petrie, Accompanist Kenneth Hess, Stage Manager Cara Ganski,  Production Design Perry Arthur Kroeger, Costume Design Lori B. Lawrence,  Lighting Design S. L. Fredericks, Light Board Operator Elizabeth Pietz, Backstage Crew William Dienes.

The Growing Stage provides a unique and affordable opportunity for our young people, in particular, to experience the magic of live theatre. Tickets for Babes In Toyland are $28 for adults, $18 for children and $22 for seniors, with group rates available.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the TGS Box Office at (973) 347-4946 or logging onto their website at www.growingstage.com.  The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.
Reviewed by Rick Busciglio   December 2, 2018
* The 1934 film Babes In Toyland also known as The March of the Wooden Soldiers.
Danny Campos and Donald Danforth (all pictures by Jerry Dalia except Steve Fredericks)

Saturday, December 1, 2018

TONIGHT Amahl and the Night Visitors at Light Opera of NJ

November 30 & December 1, 2018

5 PM and 7:30 PM both nights

St Mark's Episcopal Church

140 South Finley Avenue

Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

LONJ kicks off its season with Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, directed by Joanna Hoty Russell with musical direction by Lois Buesser.

First commissioned for television and premiered by NBC Television Opera Theatre in 1951, Amahl has become a treasured part of many families' holiday tradition. A poor young boy is awakened in the middle of the night by a knock on the door, and who should he find but three kings following a star. This one act opera emphasizes generosity and the importance of family, and is the perfect performance to start off your holiday season. LONJ proudly presents Amahl for the fifth time in the company's 24 year history.

LONJ is thrilled to be collaborating with the New Jersey Youth Chorusfor the first time. Under the direction of Tara Postigo, the New Jersey Youth Chorus' Sola Voce ensemble will perform a special concert of seasonal selections before each Amahl presentation. Tickets at  www.lonj.org or by calling 908-655-6023. 


Enjoy this first look at the show.

LONJ First Look: Amahl and the Night Visitors 2018

LONJ First Look: Amahl and the Night Visitors 2018